I have just been reading into Phototherapy with blue and red light to treat acne. It seems from the journal that carried out the research (P.Papageorgiou, A.Katsambas and A.Chu)patients that underwent blue and red light treatment experienced a greater improvement in their mild-moderate acne while those groups that underwent either blue light only, white light only or benzoyl peroxide treatment experienced a lower improvement. I think Dr. Chu's research has been used on this forum before with regards to those wanting to use laser treatment for their acne especially Nlite. But for reference purposes the journal which documents this study is: British Journal of Dermatology 2000 (Published 7th December, 1999); 142: 973-978.
About a month ago I posted a thread asking if anyone knows about whether it is possible to purchase a "Facial Tanner". The main problem with facial tanners is that constant tanning of the skin is obviously not wise and in the long run could cause skin cancer due to the UV-light. However when I visited my derm recently I noticed that in a room next door many patients, that had severe acne, were undergoing some form of laser treatment to heal their skin problems. My derm told me that using UV-light was an effective way of healing several types of skin problems but are used mostly in severe cases. The UV-light intensity/type used by these derms is NOT the same UV-light that is used in tanning salons. The derm's laser uses red and blue light that has a UV-light content of only 7% with the major part of the UV being UVA. I'm not entirely sure if this is similar to the Nlite laser though.
I asked him: "But what happens to those patients that cannot actually make it to the hospital week in week out for treatments?" (this form of treatment is not one off, patients must undergo about 10-15mins of laser once a week). He said a trained physician is sent to the patients house where a home laser is set up for their own use. The physician checks up on the patient every 2 week period to make sure the system is used correctly and effectively. The patient can either purchase the laser system or have it loaned out with weekly/monthly payments.
So this got me interested. I searched on the net to find out whether any sites sold these type of lasers. As I have acne only on my face I was sure I could fine some sort of minature version that could just focus on this region.
Well I found a site called "remvoed" and under their acne treatment section, they are selling two types of laser. One is called "Verilux HappySkin" (costs $199) and the other is called "Dima-Tech Acne Lamp" (costs $124.95).
Now I am seriously thinking of buying one of these but before I do, I am wondering whether anyone has already purchased one or a laser similar to them? If so, were they effective, safe, easy to use etc..
I hope I have provided enough info so that you can locate them on the net as we aren't allowed to post links here so am trying to be as careful as possible.
Pleeeease post any experiences you have had with these systems as I am desperately hoping this will be a step in the right direction for me and greatly reducing my skin problem. Many thanks for ANY input.....
Last edited by moderator2; 01-10-2004 at 08:27 AM.
Reason: Do not post commercial websites. Only product names are allowed here. Please carefully read, know and follow the board posting guidelines. Thank you.
Re: Home Laser Phototherapy for Mild/Moderate Acne
So noone has considered buying their own "nlite-type system" that seems to be approved by derms for treating severe acne? I mean if derms use it to heal severe acne surely it will work great against mild-moderate acne???
Re: Home Laser Phototherapy for Mild/Moderate Acne
I have actually ordered a similar product here in the UK but I phoned to see what was happening this morning and the assistant said they can take up to 28 days to deliver The system I've ordered uses two red and two blue strip lights to administer the rays onto the affected areas. I really want to try it despite the cost (quite high) because the scientific explanation as to how and why it works makes sense to me. And if it does work I can't see why (unless the strip lights lose their power) it wouldn't continue to work for a long time (unlike accutane, for example). I would be very interested to hear any experiences you have if you do choose to invest in a system.
Re: Home Laser Phototherapy for Mild/Moderate Acne
Hey JH, thanks for your post. I have searched everywhere for a system like this that emits blue and red light in the UK but no luck. The only place I found was the site I mentioned above but it is based in the U.S. and import/shipping costs are likely to rocket the price up. Could you tell me the name of the product, where you bought it from and how much because, like yourself, I seriously think this type of treatment may be extremely successful.
And yeh I totally agree, the scientific explanation as to how and why it works does seem to make sense. I'm just wondering why this form of treatment hasn't been publicised AT ALL? It has been out for over a year now and that journal by Dr. Chu was published over three years ago. Either there is something we are not being told (and they want us to continue spending $$$ on OTCs/antibiotics) or it doesn't work. With regards to the latter, well there is only one way to find out...
Hopefully someone on hear has bought one of these systems. Fingers crossed that your one arrives quickly and IT WORKS!!!
Ok, I'm only telling you this since you asked because I didn't want people to rush out and spend their money on something that didn't work. Search for "Dermalux" to find the product I've got on order. It's £200, so not as cheap as US products I've seen, but that does include delivery and VAT and you don't risk import duty on it (which can be expensive if you're unlucky enough to get stung for it).
I am sceptical about the lack of public awareness of this approach, yes. But I've resolved in my head that it usually takes a few years for something new to catch on, especially in western medicine where we throw pills at everything. Also, I'm guessing that the price tag has put off a lot of potential customers and that there are very few people to testify the product's success.
I have seen a few recommendations for this exact product and no bad reports on it. Like I said, though, it looks like they take a while to send you the unit. But I promise you that as soon as I do get one I will be perfectly honest with everyone here as to whether or not I wasted my money. Those nightvision goggles were so tempting, as well
By the way, as you might see from the web site, the company has provided equipment for the NHS in the past, so I guess they're not total cowboys. I just don't get their delivery policy. You'd have thought a £200 product would be shipped asap so they can get your money. I suppose it's because there's a low demand.
Thanks man, just visited the website. Well I'm still not sure whether to purchase one or not. Basically here's the thing: this system is based soley on ONE medical journal that was written over 3 years ago. Don't you think it is strange that since Dr. Chu's results no one has written a follow up, not even himself? My mother is a doctor and has many dermatologist friends so I asked her to check this guy out. I wanted to know if he actually existed. None of her derms seemed to have heard of him. We even checked on the NHS intranet archives for past medical journals and his journal didn't appear anywhere. I wish I could send this guy an email but all I have is his journal that I downloaded off one of those American websites that were selling this system.
I am wondering whether this system is the same one used for Nlite procedures? I am sure it is. The only problem with that is that the popularity of Nlite in the U.K. is virtually unheard of and it is only provided by "those private doctors" on Harley street. Its success rate is untraceable, I cannot find any positive conclusions regarding Nlite.
But maybe I am wrong and maybe it does take time for things to catch on. But they usually only catch on based on positive results and positive word of mouth. I have just send Dermalux an email asking them several questions about the product, what evidence do they have that it has no side-effects etc. I will post back what they say.
Jhart, I think maybe your order takes some time to arrive because probably Dermalux have very few in stock and are importing the rest from the U.S. That can be the only credible reasoning behind the delay. But £200 price tag sounds alot, however we end up spending a lot more on OTC treatments etc. So I am willing to pay as long as it works
Oh and one final thing. I usually feel skeptical about treatments when they say "Don't expect it to work overnight, it needs AT LEAST 12 weeks". I know they are probably right but they usually say this because by the time you have completed 12 weeks you aren't really going to bother returning the product if it has not worked. You just continue looking for something else to cure you...
Well our mission to find an effective solution to this acne nightmare continues. Let's hope when you receive "that package" our mission will be complete.
Neca, of course, I too have shared all your doubts. I posted a URL on the thread about making one's own light therapy system showing details of another study carried out in 2002. Please read it and see what you think. It adds credence to this Dr. Chu's supposed research.
Unfortunately due to board rules the mods have removed your post Jhart but I wasn't aware that there was another journal based on what we are looking into. I will try and hunt it down..any hints?
Anyway here is Dermalux's response to several things I asked:
"Where do I start!
This is the unit that Dr Chu used in his trial.
There are two systems for treating Acne. The first is to give large doses once a week for a period of time like 12 weeks which usually have to be repeated every 4 to 6 months. The N Lite and Clearlite fall into this category.
Ours is the second type that gives smaller doses on a daily basis.
Neither system will cure Acne Vulgaris.
Both systems work by stimulating a porfyrin that the bug uses as part of its 'breathing' chain to produce oxygen which kills the bug because it does not like it. Ours also stimulates the bodies repair mechanism with its red light.
The system will not tint your skin as the UV output is low enough to allow up to 1 hour eye exposure in any 8 hour period
by the COSH safety regulations (you will wear goggles anyway)
We have sold over 8000 of these units with negligible problems.
Acne is a genetic condition triggered by hormone change. The bug lives on most people and is usually a friendly bug unless you happen to have this genetic propensity for your pores to block. A trapped bug in a blocked pore produces swelling and a reaction form the protection system and hey presto you have an acne spot.
It is only suitable for mild to moderate Acne Vulgaris and if you have read Tony Chu's paper you will see that it has a success rate of 76% but you must keep to the once a day treatment at least for the first 3 months.
So basically we should be asking all the people that have tried Clearlite on here, what results they obtained from this treatment?! I am crossing my fingers they saw improvements...
Also I think Jhart you will be better off just using this system and paying one fee than trying to build your own as it could prove more costly and possibly more be dangerous.
What do you think though...do you think this could work? Fine it isn't a cure but if we are achieving 60-70% improvement that is a GREAT start
Neca, I recieved a call from a Dermalux representative yesterday. I got a bit shirty with him about the possibility of a 28 day wait for delivery and he assured me that this timeframe was only quoted for legal reasons. He admitted that the Christmas break had caused a backlog in orders but said my "unit" (as he called it) would be shipped before the weekend and that I would most likely take receipt of it early next week.
He told me all this after I told him I was thinking of looking elsewhere. Obviously he was on the defensive in protection of his company's profits, but he did provide me with other reassuring information. He said that these were the actual units used in the initial research (and that imitations might not work, as you suggested). He said he understood my wanting to get a unit asap because of my condition, but said nobody gets preferential treatment in the orders queue because it wouldn't be fair.
He also asked me about my previous treatments for acne and said that as I had experienced recurring acne after Roaccutane that light treatment would be a better alternative to more Roaccutane. He stressed the importance of using the unit regularly and washing one's face beforehand. He said if I wanted I could use it at both ends of the day for 15 minutes each. He also said I should listen to soothing music.
The link I posted was on ClearLight and it's a shame you couldn't see it because it had some fairly convincing before and after photos (not just two but one photo of each of the four subjects at each two week stage in the 8 week trial). I think there's got to be something in this approach. Even for £200 I'm willing and very keen to try it. If it works then for the first time I'll have found something sustainable (unlike antibiotics [1 month's remission] or Roaccutane [3 month's remission], for example).
By the way, in the ClearLight study the patients only had 2 bi-weekly sessions for 8 weeks to see the average 76% lesion decrease. But at the 12 week stage (four weeks without treatment) the decrease was only at 52%. This information was on a graph and I assume that the "lesion decrease" scale means the patients saw 76% less new acne than they used to and that was reduced to 52% less new acne after they stopped treatment. I don't know about you, but if I was on this trial I wouldn't have stopped treatment at all
Hey guys. This new treatment sure is intriguing. I was just skimming through the Dermatology Times (derm journal) and the November 2003 issue has quite a bit info regarding phototherapy. A number of studies are cited, including one that documented the long term (3 years) efficacy of the treatments. Check out that issue of the journal if you have access.
In theory the Clearlite/Nlite systems should work and I believe this Dermalux system will improve our skin. Of course we are not expecting miracles but at least a 50% improvement would be great.
My only problem I have with it is that there is not enough documentation especially documentation regarding its long term effects. This is really important! It may have very low-levels of UV-wavelength but there is still a chance that we could be really damaging ourselves. As you can see I am very paranoid. I prefer to base my acne purchases on medical backing and other people's experiences. I just do not get how there are virtually no available opinions about Dermalux on this website? It's really strange.
WildSide it would be great if you could post some of the findings in those journals you've mentioned as I am having difficulty finding anymore. I only have Dr. Chu's
Does anyone know how many people on this board have actually had Clearlite treatments at their doctor's surgerys? Surely their results will give us a great idea about the effectiveness of this system.
Anyhow, here is another email Dermalux have sent me. Quite interesting too:
"Happy Skin is made in China and costs peanuts [it also infriges the patent so will be in trouble] so they can afford to give them away!
We do not have a refund policy for non effectiveness of treatment.
Due to the huge fluctuations in demand caused by media publicity we sometimes get out of stock quickly. We take orders using a message service otherwise we get swamped with enquiries for the aforesaid reason.
At present delivery is quite good. We normally process orders on Fridays which would result in deliveries on the following wed or Thursday."
I'm sure Jhart you would care to differ with their last sentence regarding their delivery expertise,
Yes, Neca. I'm mega-impatient with anything on mail/online order. I remember getting really mad at Techtronics when I ordered my home theatre kit from them. It took them weeks. And then there was my first iPod . . . If I experience similar I'll be on the blower, don't you worry
It is strange that there appears to be nobody talking about Dermalux, I agree. As I said, I did find a handful of mentions to it, mostly promising. Somebody wanted to sell theirs (an old message from 2002) because it had cleared them 100% and they hadn't experienced any new acne for months. Obviously I have an ideal picture in my mind of getting into a simple routine of using the unit every night before bed and never seeing another spot again. But even if it only works a little bit then that's better than what I've got now. You can't put a price on that, in my opinion.
With regards to the UV light causing health risks, I wouldn't worry. Think about it like this: although we're advised to stay out of the midday sun in the summer, we still get UV rays all year round but not as intensly. Moreover, since the light being transmitted is in the blue and red parts of the spectrum, then there shouldn't be any Ultra Violet at all. I think there is in ClearLight, but the Dermalux web site states categorically that there isn't in their system. Still, I agree, it would be safest to find out the long-term effects.